IOWA CITY, IA - University of Iowa junior Mark Perry has been named the Mike Howard Most Valuable Wrestler for the 2006-07 season. He received the award at the team's annual awards banquet Saturday in Iowa City.
Perry was the 165-pound NCAA and Big Ten Champion. The three-time all-American posted a 28-4 record in collegiate matches this season. With his 4-3 win over two-time defending NCAA Champion Johny Hendricks in the national finals, Perry ended the season on a 12-match winning streak. He was named TheMat.com's Wrestler of the Week for March 13-19 for capturing his first national title. The Stillwater, OK, native scored 21 team points at the Big Ten Championships, which ranked third among all tournament competitors. He posted a 16-3 dual record and went 7-1 in Big Ten duals. Perry led the Hawkeyes in team points scored in dual competition (68), number of dual wins (16), fastest fall (0:38) and major decisions (7). He also shared the team most pins award (6) with senior 133-pounder Mario Galanakis.
Galanakis, a native of Greenfield, IA, also shared the Mike McGivern Award, which is given to the team's most courageous wrestler, with sophomore Dan Erekson. Galanakis posted a 23-11 collegiate record and went 12-5 in dual matches. He was injured in the later part of the Big Ten season, but returned to place seventh at the conference meet and qualify for the NCAA Championships. Galanakis scored 52 team points in dual competition and ranked second on the team in major decisions (6). He ends his Hawkeye career with a 40-20 record. Erekson was also injured during the season, missing all eight Big Ten duals. The 197-pounder from Eagle, ID, posted a 10-8 mark in collegiate matches.
Senior Eric Luedke earned the All-America Award. The Colby, KS, native placed third at the NCAA Championships to earn his second all-America honor. Luedke recorded a 33-4 season mark, going 16-1 in duals and 7-1 in Big Ten duals. The 174-pounder led the team in collegiate wins (33), dual wins (16), collegiate winning percentage (.892) and dual winning percentage (.941), and won an individual title at the 2006 Midlands Championships. He also placed third at the Big Ten Championships and was an academic all-Big Ten selection. Luedke ends his career at Iowa with a 56-19 record.
Sophomore Charlie Falck earned the Most Improved Award. The 125-pounder earned his first all-America honor placing eighth at the NCAA Championships. Falck compiled a 24-10 record in collegiate matches, going 15-4 in duals and 7-1 in Big Ten duals. The Big Ten runner-up, he led the team in technical falls (4), and ranked second in major decisions (6), and third in dual wins (15) and dual winning percentage (.789). Falck is a native of Strawberry Point, IA.
Senior Joe Uker earned the J. Donald McPike, Sr., Award, which is given annually to the senior with the highest grade-point average. A biology major, Uker is a four-time academic all-Big Ten honoree and letterwinner, two-time Dean's List selection and earned a spot on the 2005 President's List. The Osage, IA, native is a four-year letterwinner, wrestling between 157-174 pounds.
Senior twins Ben and Brett Stedman earned the Coaches Appreciation Award. Natives of Sioux City, IA, the Stedman's are the fifth set of twins to wrestle for the Hawkeyes. Ben wrestled between 165-184 pounds, and Brett at 149 pounds. Both are four-year letterwinners.
2006-07 University of Iowa Wrestling Team Awards
Mike Howard Award (Most Valuable): Mark Perry
Mike McGivern Award (Most Courageous): Mario Galanakis, Dan Erekson
J. Donald McPike, Sr. Award (Highest GPA for graduating senior): Joe Uker
All-America Award: Eric Luedke
Most Pins Award: Mark Perry (6), Mario Galanakis (6)
Most Improved Award: Charlie Falck
Coaches Appreciation Award: Ben Stedman, Brett Stedman